Pseudolithos migiurtinus (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

Bizarre Succulents

A bizarre succulent is one that suggests something it's not in an eerie way: a cancerous growth, reptile, bug or body part. When you take a second look and ponder what on earth it is, you experience a deliciously unsettling ah-ha (or bwa-ha-ha) moment.

Of course, what's bizarre is in the eye of the beholder. With that in mind, the gallery below presents my own subjective choices.

BIZARRE SUCCULENTS CHALLENGE (Ended Oct. 18): At the risk of someone taking me seriously, I fiddled with the names of 12 of the 40+ bizarre succulents below. The first person to list them in the comments with the correct names received my Cactus 2021 calendar.

AND THE WINNER IS: Darcy Nagle of Tucson, Arizona, with 20 of 24 possible points! Coming to Darcy is: 

2021 Calendar

The point (no pun intended) of my Cactus 2021 Calendar is to show the beauty of cacti in fresh new ways. A great gift!

Professor Mordant's Sea-Sand Succulents

Bizarre succulents inspired one of my few forays into fiction: Professor Mordant's Sea-Sand Succulents. Do enjoy "moonlit" photos and a pleasantly unsettling reinterpretation of collectible-yet-creepy succulents.

Creepy succulents

One of the sea-sand succulents I saw on Mordant's island.

Excerpt: I was the only one who accepted the professor’s invitation. I calmed my trepidation by anticipating a big story…or at least a small adventure. It turned out to be both. But except for these photos, I’m unable to prove it. I fear that now, after the tsunami, this is the only record that remains...[Continue reading]


Bizarre Succulents Gallery

also for autumn 

Sorry, we couldn't find any posts. Please try a different search.

Enjoyed this article? Please share it!


  1. Nancy Mendes on May 23, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    amazing I love 💕 succulents

  2. Steve on October 6, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Great fun! How about something for Christmas!?!

  3. Norma Prickett on October 6, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    This is why I love succulents, some are so bizarre and all wonderful!!

  4. Celeste Gornick on October 6, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    Cleistocactus strausii ‘Kitten Dinner’, The Latin name is correct but ‘Kitten Dinner’? Hmmm. Euphorbia mounditanica, can find no reference to this Euphorbia on the internet. I have heard of a Moroccan Mound – this could be a made up name. Oreocereus shihtsuensis or a Oreocereus that resembles a Shihtsu? Interesting…but maybe it is an Oreocereus celsianus. Pseudolithos migiurtinus may be the right name but you are right in that you may want to regurgitate your last meal if you smell it’s flowers. Not sure what Notocactus ‘Buttered Popcorn’ is – looks somewhat similar to Parodia tenuicylindrica or Parodia spegazziniana. Lithops ‘Bitty Buns’. Maybe you know something about baking with African ingredients? Aloe ‘Runway’? Haven’t heard of a tree aloe by that name. But I am behind considering how many aloes there are. Agave titanota ‘Gleeful Beetle’, sure haven’t heard of that cultivar! Can you send me one so I can inspect it? Aeonium ‘Victorian Corset’. It does resemble one. But more likely, this cultivar name doesn’t exist – although it does bear a resemblance to a cultivar named ‘Arboretum’.

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on October 6, 2020 at 5:00 pm

      Big round of applause, Celeste! Your score is 12 out of a possible 24. I gave you one point for every fake name you found and one point for each correct name you provided as well. You may very well be the winner. But to ensure you keep your standing, do you want to nail down the other 12 points? Thanks for participating—I wasn’t sure anyone would!

  5. Celeste Gornick on October 6, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    Did Gerold Macrorhizus have a Gerrardanthus macrorhizus? Dioscoria elephantipes is misspelled, should be Dioscorea elephantipes. Aloe vanbalenii is correct spelling for Aloe vanbalenni. Maybe I will come back tomorrow and take another run at it…

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on October 6, 2020 at 8:20 pm

      Oh, my. You caught things I was unaware of. You definitely get extra points for that! Blushing here. Because those spelling errors were unintended, I’m going to correct them so no one else claims them. But you still get two extra points for them. Your total is now 17!

  6. Darcy on October 7, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Aeonium ‘Victorian Corset’ looks like perhaps Aeonium arboreum ; Agave titanota ‘Gleeful Beetle’ might be Agave Titanota Filigree; Aloe ‘Runway” = Aloe africana?; Cleistocactus strausii ‘Kitten Dinner’ = Cleistocactus winterii “Golden Rat Tail”; Crassula polysyllabica ‘Baby’s Necklace’ = Crassula peforata ‘Baby’s Necklace’; Euphorbia mounditanica = Euphorbia mauritanica; Gerald’s macrorhizus = Gerrardanthus macrorhizus; Lithops ‘Bitty Buns’ = Lithops hookeri; Oreocereus shihtsuensis = Oreocereus celsianus; Notocactus “Buttered Popcorn” = Notocactus leninghausii ; Pseudolithos regurgitinus = Pseudolithos cubiformis or P. migiurtinus; Could not find a 12th! Thanks for a fun challenge and great photos.

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on October 7, 2020 at 2:23 pm

      Hi Darcy — Impressive! I’m giving you 19 points out of a possible 24!

      • Darcy on October 9, 2020 at 8:07 am

        Found an overlooked clue…. I believe N. “Buttered Popcorn” should be Notocactus scopa v. murieli

        • Debra Lee Baldwin on October 9, 2020 at 8:34 am

          Good job Darcy, you’re the frontrunner at 20 points out of 24!

  7. Sandy Masuo on October 12, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    Bowiea volubilis is commonly called “climbing onion,” rather than “pregnant onion.” The “pregnant onion” is Ornithogalum longibracteatum. Many of these featured plants are fasciated, a mutation that causes them to grow in crested or other distorted forms. It is not normal for them to grow this way and the regular forms look quite different. Interesting photos.

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on October 12, 2020 at 2:10 pm

      Oh! Good to know! Thanks, Sandy.

  8. Jennifer Holstein on October 14, 2020 at 8:26 am

    Hi! Thanks for one of the most educational challenges ever! It’s keeping me in better form to homeschool my son. Here are my best guesses so far:
    1. Aeonium Victorian Corset is very creative, adding ‘Arboretum’ improves accuracy
    2 Agave Titanota Gleeful Beetle may add ‘Filigree’
    3. Aloe Runway edit to Aloe Arborescens ‘Candelabra’
    4. Cephalocereus Palmerii edit to Cephalocereus Leucocephalus perhaps?
    5. Echeveria Lilac Frost looks more like Echeveria Etna to me
    6. Euphorbia Mounditanica edit to Mauritanica
    7. Fenestraria Aurantiaca edit to Fenestraria Rhopalophylla
    8. Haworthiopsis Coarctata edit to Haworthiopsis Attenuata
    9. Lithops Bitty Buns add Hookeri
    10. (Disclaimer if I’m way off here) Lophocereus Schotii edit to Myrtillocactus Geometrizans or the elegant Boob
    11. Myrtillocactus Geometrizans edit to Mammillaria Elongata
    12. Oreocereus Shihtsuensis edit to Cephalocereus Senilis
    13. Pachypodium Brevicaule edit to Rosulatum
    14. Pseudolithos Regurgitinus edit to Migiutinus
    Thanks, Debra!

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on October 14, 2020 at 12:12 pm

      Jennifer! This delights me. Thanks so much for participating. You have 12 points. No one so far has more than 20 out of a possible 24. Want to give it another whirl? ;+)

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.